Tag Archives: bear

I found a milk jug. Now what?

Milk jug (2)

Everything and everyone in the forest (as far as I can tell) seems to have a very overt, defined purpose. Trees are homes for creatures, fur scratchers for me, and generally great for the aesthetics of the forest. The river gives us water and a place to see ourselves in wavy reflections. Squirrels are entertaining at best and chaotic wild cards at worst (which also has its uses). Even the deer across the river has some purpose. I do not know what that purpose is, but I am sure there is one and I like to pretend it is not just to make me feel horrible about being near the deer across the river from time to time.

We all have a purpose in the forest, and we all interact with and play off of each others’ purposes. That is why it is so alarming when I come across something in the forest that seems to lack a discernible purpose (to me, that is).

Many strange things find their way to the forest (usually by way of dumpster treasures or humans (campsites and such)), and it can be difficult to figure out why these things exist.

The milk jug was a perfect example. I had no idea it was even called a milk jug until Rob (the squirrel) told me it was a milk jug. I asked him what it did, and he told me the name explained everything I needed know.

Milk jug.

So, naturally, I chewed on it. The milk jug certainly did a fine job at fulfilling the role of a thing to be chewed on, but (and I do not mean to sound too cynical or pessimistic here) that can be said of just about anything I can chew on (which is most things).

I decided to carry the milk jug with me to give it some more time to express its reasoning for its being or at least enough time for me to figure that out on my own. Later that day, in my cave, I sat with my belly pressed against the cool, moldy rock floor as I stared at the milk jug, waiting for it to explain itself.

It never did. It just sat there.

I took the milk jug to the river to see if a change in scenery could help inspire it to be the best possible milk jug.

When we arrived, we sat at the edge of the river, waiting.

Then I nudged the milk jug into the water. For a very brief moment, I was terrified that I might have just drowned the milk jug just to prove something about it to me, which was an absurd and horrible notion. In my panic, I jumped into the river to follow the milk jug, but I was surprised to find that it was able to float better than I could.

Maybe that was its purpose.

The deer across the river scoffed at me as this happened, which I pretended to ignore even though it made me feel bad about myself.

At the end of the day, I carried the milk jug back to where I found it: the dumpster near the sharp fence I dug a whole under so I did not have to climb the fence because it is sharp.

I am still not entirely sure why the milk jug exists and what it is for, but I figure that the place for it to do or be what it needs to do or be is its home.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on the book of faces.


Hiding day.

hiding  (2)

Yesterday was a hiding day.

I do not know from what I hid, but I hid from it for quite a long time. I frequently find myself using a nice hiding day to keep away from whatever emotions, deer, bad weather, or rowdy squirrels could potentially give me trouble in a given day. It is nice to just hide away sometimes.

This particular hiding day, however, I wanted to know something: what happened when I hid? Did my worries and troubles really go away? Did the forest worry for my presence, perhaps even going so far as to send search parties out for me? Did anyone actually know where I hid?

There were so many mysteries on hiding days. Another mystery I had to figure out was how I would collect data on a hiding day. How could I hide and understand how the forest functioned while I was hiding? I would have to trust a friend.

I considered trusting Rob (the squirrel), but I knew he would do what all squirrels do (lie). Instead, I decided to ask a very friendly blue bird who nested in a small bush outside of my cave. The bird agreed to fly around the forest during my hiding day, seeing if anything out of the ordinary would happen, particularly things that seemed dependent on the presence of a bear (me).

Then I hid.

I hid inside the very bush where my new bird friend usually nested. It was a good hide. I spent practically all day sitting and hiding and enjoying some peaceful napping and staring.

Then the tiny blue bird came back and reported what he had found.


He told me that the forest had remained the same throughout the day. Nothing of notable importance had shifted in any way he could discern.

Everything was fine.

Without me.

Everything kept moving as it always had and likely always will.

It felt strange.

I thanked the bird for its time and observations and went to my cave. I napped some more. It was difficult to sleep with the knowledge of how unimportant I was to daily forest activities.

I had a dream where the bird, though observant and thorough, simply missed all the tiny aspects I impacted on a daily basis. He missed how the floor of my cave grew cold without me. He missed how Rob (the squirrel) was likely even more aimless and crazy than usual without my presence to balance him. He missed how the deer across the river probably did not even go to the river when I was not there. He missed that his day had even completely changed because of a simple request from me. He missed how the sun came up a few hours later and left a few hours earlier and how the moon did not shine as brightly as it usually did and how the sky fell a few feet downward and…

But that was just a dream. And a nice thought. But maybe he really did just miss a couple things.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear.

Accepting snakes: why I want to but I cannot.

image1 (2)

Snakes are horrifyingly terrible terror serpents who I assume only exist to make life for all other living organisms in the forest more difficult and exhausting.

I apologize for that very aggressive introduction, but snakes and I have a long, horrible history, and that history is almost completely based off snakes intruding on my personal space (mentally and physically) and harming me (mentally or physically).

When I push my emotions to the side and truly contemplate snakes as creatures in the forest (as they well deserve), I know they exist for reasons that are likely too complex or important for me to thoroughly understand and process. Snakes have a purpose. I know this. However, I wish I knew that the importance of this purpose outweighed my aggressive loathing for them.

I cannot figure out their purpose, though.

Why are snakes here and why does the forest need them and why can they not just leave me alone and exit my mind and my cave and never come near me ever?

I asked other creatures of the forest why snakes existed. I received varying answers. A opossum screeched at me (I assume she is afraid of snakes, too). The anthill I asked seemed neutral on the subject, responding mostly in silence and very organized rows of many, which makes sense given that ants seem to only care about ants, dirt, and how ants interact with dirt. Rob (the squirrel) (from whom I did not expect a rational or just answer) said that snakes have only one purpose: to be questioned about by me. He then laughed at me and stole an acorn I had found.

I also asked a lizard. My thinking was that lizards look quite similar to snakes (except for the legs and discernible body/tail and generally pleasant disposition), so perhaps lizards had more insight on the subject. The lizard said that everything has a purpose in the forest, and that often the purposes are very subtle and involve food. He added that these purposes only exist in the construct of the forest and have no value outside of the forest and, therefore, meant almost nothing on any scale larger than the forest so making cosmic sense of anything was ultimately futile and a waste of time. I liked the first part of the answer (it was difficult to consider the second part because of the food part of the first part), but it did not help. Are snakes food? Do snakes make food? Should I eat more snakes?

Snakes are a part of life. They always have been. They always will be. No matter how much I want snakes to not be a part of life, there is no changing these facts. I have to learn how to live with snakes. Or I have to begin eating all snakes (which I do not want to do because they have pointy teeth and the few times I have eaten snakes I felt a deep, uneasy essence in my being that I was unable to get rid of for days, even weeks on in).

Maybe I can just try to talk to snakes. I do not think I have ever done that. Maybe understanding snakes is like understanding any other creature: you just have to get to know them personally. And not eat them or assume they exist only to ruin your life.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

Also, thank you to everyone who participated in the survey-based adventure Bear embarked upon on Twitter last week. Thousands of you voted to help him decide what basic decisions to make about his day. It was very fun, and he hopes to find time to do it again soon. 


I talked to a snake and it bit me.


I wanted something yet I was not sure exactly what.

bear wants (2)

The feeling was weird but familiar. I wanted something particular, but I could not quite put my paw onto what that particular thing actually was. It was intriguing to consider, at first. Going through the desires I might normally have and evaluating if they met my current needs. Then it became annoying. The vague feeling would not leave and could not be satiated.

I decided to just go about my daily routine of various bear related activities and thoughts. I started the day off with a nap (as I usually do). Though I woke up feeling refreshed, I still have an itch to scratch, and the indescribable desire was still keeping my mind wandering.

I then went to the river to drink and avoid eye contact with the deer who also drinks there. Luckily, the deer was not there that day, so I could drink in peace. I was, again, refreshed yet still had a wanting feeling for something I did not have.

Leaves. I love to chew on wads of leaves that I gather around my cave. I did just that. I collected several leaves and placed them into my mouth and chewed and chewed and chewed and it was lovely and delicious.

But it was not what I wanted.

I was becoming increasingly frustrated with my inability to fulfill my phantom desire, and I went through a gauntlet of trials involving a great number of activities and such that I normally enjoyed doing. I napped in a dumpster. I stared at the weird raccoon who sleeps in the pizza boxes at the dumpster. I listened to Rob (the squirrel) and questioned his strange tales/advice as I normally do (this time he asked me if I had ever daringly run under the tires of a speeding car and I asked him exactly what a car was and he screeched and hurled an acorn at my nose, as he tends to do). I even licked my favorite clump of moss that rests in one of the many dark nooks of my cave. I also took two more naps. All of these things were lovely, but I still had the weird, familiar but intangible feeling of wanting something I had not recently had/done yet wanted to have/do without knowing what had to be had/done.

The end of the day had come, and the irritating, irrational feeling was still lingering. It made me exhausted. I slumped down to the nest of moss and leaves and rabbit skeletons that made up my cave floor and slept.

The next day, the feeling was gone. Perhaps I had slept it off. Perhaps I had only imagined it. Perhaps I just wanted to get through another day, and doing so was enough to satisfy the urge. I do not know, but it was good to feel like I overcame it.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? 

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also read a list by Bear that details how to approach opossums over at The Higgs Weldon.

Sometimes raccoons pressure me into eating things.

demon raccoon

I like to eat most of the things I find. Leaves, cans, unidentified animal parts, flowers, leftover human things in human tents, human tents, sticks, air. Eating is one of my favorite things to do, so it is generally very easy to convince me to eat nearly anything. A raccoon I met recently proved to me there were exceptions.

It was in a dumpster behind a drug store where I found a plastic bag filled with a very dark liquid that smelled strange. I poked around it for a bit. I sniffed it. I tasted it. I even lapped a bit of the liquid into my mouth. It was sour and unpleasant. It was one of the first things I had found in a dumpster that I did not want to eat right away.

I turned around and walked away.

Right as my snout pointed toward the next direction I was going to scavenge for more eats, a raccoon startled me.

It stared me down.

It did not make a single sound.

Its bushy, striped tailed sprung up as it walked toward me. For some reason, I felt compelled to walk backward as it approached. I could have easily ignored the creature and ran into the forest, but something made me take a step back. And another step. And another. I kept creeping back as the raccoon walked nearer and nearer until my hind quarters smacked the dumpster I was originally walking away from.

The plastic bag was there. The raccoon saw it. She poked around it for a bit. She sniffed it. She tasted it. She even lapped a bit of the liquid into her mouth.

She kept lapping the liquid. Was it not sour and unpleasant to her? Why did this strange matter not bother the raccoon? Was she immune? Did she know something I did not?

Every question I had was interrupted when she turned her sharp looking face toward me with her teeth gritting, her wild sneer blinding my thoughts. She stared. I stared.

This inaction went on for a very long time. The hot sun baked the unpleasant liquid as exchanged intensity through our eyes.

Finally, the raccoon snapped her jaws around the plastic bag and dragged it toward me.

The hissing began.

I had no idea what she wanted at first. I tried to back away. More hissing. I tried to sit and continue the staring. More hissing. I tried to speak of my discomfort. More hissing.

After a great deal of trials and errors and mistakes and hissing, I figured out what the raccoon wanted.

I pushed my nose into the plastic bag. The hissing quieted. She continued to stare. I averted my eyes away from the bag and toward her. Light hissing. I put my face into the plastic bag. No hissing. The smell was awful. The taste was now sour and warm. It was terrible.

The raccoon kept staring, her glare keeping my brain frightened and my nose nestled in the bane of my senses.

Before long, the liquid was inside my belly, rumbling my insides and making me dizzy. It was gone, though. But so was the raccoon. I looked all around me, trying to figure out exactly what had happened here. Was she merely a figment of my imagination? Did my mind conjure an aggressive raccoon to make me experience something I shied away from? Why am I so afraid of raccoon hissing?

This experience left me questioning many things about my personality and what I know about the forest and its inhabitants. It also led to some of the most terrifying sounds my belly has ever made. But like with any experience, I did learn something. Raccoon sounds are fear-inducing demonic screeches that can drive you to insanity. I do like raccoons, though.

I am a bear.

“Boris the Bear’s Circus Adventure Extravaganza of Suffer for Lonely, No” is the latest adventure you can read on helloiamabear.com! Please enjoy!